To say that this week was full of CRAAAAZINESS would be an understatement. I decided last night that I would make a list of things that I wanted to share with you all so that when it came to writing the email today, I could just get right into things. First thing though, mama sorry if I confused you the last two weeks by writing to you on Friday, but my pday is actually Saturday. It's just that I had the RS Broadcast last last Saturday and General Conference this last Saturday and so I wrote to you on the Fridays of those weeks. But now I finally get a normal pday again! It is quite glorious. Sister Bangerter and I woke up and went for a run at 5:40. I know, crazy right? But that amount of crazy doesn't even begin to describe this week haha. I apologize that it's not going to have as much of a spiritual theme to it. I had some great experiences spiritually this week. But these things just cannot not be shared.
Just so you guys know what to look forward to, here is the list of things I hope to share:
1. moving to main campus
2. general conference/devotional
3. being the oldest district/sister training leader/new missionaries
4. FLIGHT PLANS
5. Funny stories galoreeee (epi pen, nagpapatotoo, 6 plungers, knife story, "I only ate 5", and we will see if I have time to share anymore)
Okayyy let's get started! Yes mom, you guessed correctly. Well almost. So Sister Char's zone moved to main campus this past Wednesday because that was the day that their zone received FORTY-NINE new missionaries! Can you believe it?? They are mostly going to Cebu I think. And they are also mostly international! From New Zealand, Tonga, Marshall Islands, Kirabati, and who knows where else. So exciting for them! On that same Wednesday, my zone received 2 districts, 12 new missionaries. So our zone is made up of my district and the other district that also came in on September 11. Then the 3 new districts that came two and a half weeks ago on the 25 and now these 2 new districts. The things is that the 2 newest districts moved right into main campus just like I did when I got here. But we 5 older districts are still at west campus! So Sister Bangerter and I and the zone leaders went to main campus on Wednesday to welcome them to the MTC and then left pretty much leaving them to fend for themselves for the next week! I felt pretty awful about it but we aren't getting moved until Tuesday. Strange huh? I would feel kind of lost if none of the older districts of the zone were around to help me out with things. But hopefully they are doing alright! So yes, I am moving BACK to main campus on Tuesday. In the main building of the MTC there is a picture on the wall of the group of missionaries that were the first to move to West Campus. I think I may write President Nally and suggest that there be a picture taken of us Philippinos and put up on the wall as the first group of missionaries to move into main, move to west, and then move BACK to main. Haha. It was frustrating because they didn't tell us that we were moving for sure until last night. But overall I'm happy because I liked main campus better. But moving to main means new address again! So it's
Sister Joni Chisa Sawada
OCT-23 (or 21 it really doesn't matter) PHI-BAG
2011 N 900 E Unit 226
Provo UT, 84602
Okay that was a long one. I'm gonna have to hurry if I want to fit everything in! General Conference. Oh man general conference was soooo good! I'm sure everyone was like me and was nodding in agreement when President Monson claimed these sessions to be some of the most inspired sessions ever. Every talk had something I could apply to my life. Some of my favorites were Eyring, Scott, Oaks, Monson, Adrian Ochoa, and my number one favorite right now is Timothy J. Dyches. He spoke about when Jesus asked "Wilt thou be made whole?" I've heard that question before but never thought about it. As Jesus was healing the sick, He asked them if they will be made whole. Because whether they would be made whole or not did not depend on whether Jesus could heal them or not. He was prepared, and able to heal all of the people. But it was dependent on whether the people would allow it or not. This is the case too often in our lives. Christ is always there, always ready and able to make us whole. But whether we turn to Him and make ourselves willing to be made whole is up to us. There were so many more amazing things that I learned though! I would love to hear everyone else's thoughts and favorites! So all of the missionaries in the MTC were able to watch conference together on main campus. So we were there all day Saturday where we watched the morning, afternoon, and RS or Priesthood sessions. And all day Sunday where we watched the morning and afternoon sessions and then had our Sunday night devotional. This one was a very special one! Vocal Point performed for us! They didn't do their popular covers of songs that are on the radio and such but they all shared their favorite hymn and they sang the first verses in their amazing harmonies and then had us join along for the rest of the song. It was awesome. There are about 10 members of their group and almost all of them shared their experiences from their missions which were full of great advice and insight on missionary work, homesickness, getting along with a companion and more stuff like that. My favorite song they sang though was a medley one of the members put together. It is Come Come Ye Saints and Noyana (idk if that spelling is correct) The song Noyana is an African Song which means "Are you going?" So the mixture between the two messages of the songs and their awesome voices singing made me very happy haha. Look up the song if you can! I'm sure it's on youtube.
Okay I pretty much covered this topic in the first paragraph so onto the next!
Flight plans came in yesterdayyyyy!!! I am officially going to the Philippines everyone! We leave Monday October 21 at around 4 am...haha. So we got the flight plans and we were all stoked because we heard that other districts are having layovers in Tokyo and Hong Kong and I was like what if I get to go to Japan? I haven't been there in forever! But then we looked at our plans and we have a layover in Detroit Michigan. I mean I'm still pretty excited about that because I have never been there. But I'm not gonna lie, I was pretty bummed! Even the Elders in our district are laying over in Tokyo! It's like literally just my travel group. Haha what are the odds? Always against me that's what they are! Jk haha but Sister Bangerter, Sister Tapusoa and I like to joke around saying that our district, especially the sisters just get the short end of the stick araw-araw (every day or all the time) haha we joke about it but we almost feel like it is true. But we blame it on ourselves because we each individually have really bad luck and so the sisters in our district are pretty much doomed. Sister Bangerter is our Travel Leader and she says she will be really surprised if every goes as planned with our flying haha. So yeah from Detroit we go right to Manila! 20 hour flight baby! Honestly though we could have a layover in every state in the U.S. and I would be fine. I just can't believe I am actually going!
Alright now here come the stories!! Are you excited?
Okay real quick. This story is about Elder Loitz, the hilarious Elder in my district whose favorite thing to do is translate star wars quotes into Tagalog. So we were learning how to conjugate verbs into abbilitative/object focus or something like that. And we learned the word nagpapatotoo. When you put the accents on it, it sounds like a pretty sick rap. And we just hear Elder Loitz start to say nag-pa-pa-to-to-o ay nag-pa-pa-to-to-o and Sister Bangerter and I just start dying laughing because we realized that he was saying it to the beat/tune of "Don't Drop that dun-da-dun" or however you spell it hahaha. He was the last person we thought would know that song let alone put our Tagalog words to the tune of it!
This isn't so much a story as just a gross occurrence. So I went into the Sister's bathroom the other day which only has one toilet, and when I lifted up the top, you cannot even imagine what I saw. But it was safe to say that thing was clogged yo. So I quickly dropped the top and ran back into class. And our classrooms are just bedrooms of apartments right? So like you walk in and there's the kitchen and the living room which is a classroom. Then three bedrooms which are also all classrooms. And there are two bathrooms which one is used for elders and the other for sisters. So when someone takes a long bathroom trip, you can smell it pretty clearly from the classrooms. This little treat in the girls bathroom stunk up the apartment so much it was pretty bad. The next day we see cleaners go into the bathroom. They leave pretty quickly and come back with goggles on, and SIX PLUNGERS! 6 plungers!! Can you believe it?? We were all dying.
I don't have time for the knife story which I really wanted to tell but it's alright. I must go now. I had to share these things with you. I'm sorry it's not a typical missionary letter from me. But just know that the spiritual side of things is great too. Miss you all! Love you all!